Showing posts with label Authentic Kerala Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Authentic Kerala Recipes. Show all posts

17 January 2015

Chemeen Pollichatu / Kerala Prawns Pollichathu

Kerala is well known for its sea food delicacies and one of the recipes to top the list is the Chemmeen Pollichathu / Prawns Pollichathu. This is a spicy dish that will tingle your taste buds. Prawns is first marinated with the spices and then sauteed in a pan. It is then coated with the masala. This classic preparation is one of the dishes tourists coming to Kerala always look out for. I have always been a fan of Meen Pollichathu/ Fish Pollichathu. It is one of the healthiest way to have fish. It is on one of these searches on the internet that I found this recipe here. Traditionally the prawns is wrapped in a banana leaf , tied into a parcel and then baked on a heavy caste iron skillet or steamed. This brings out the flavours of the dish. This is a slightly easier version. It tasted too good!! 

04 March 2014

Neypathiri / Malabar Special Rice Pancakes

A traditional treat of North Malabar- the Neypathiri / Neypathal. It is a deep fried rice roti which is a common breakfast, evening snack or dinner item at houses in North Kerala. There are different varieties of pathiris like the Ari Pathiri ( for all the health conscious people), Prawn Pathiri, Irachi Pathiri, Chatti/atti pathiri, Tyre Pathiri.. 

02 March 2013

Kerala Fish Biryani

Biryani's are my favorite when it comes to weekend cooking. And there is a long list of to-be tried biryani's. I made Mussels Biryani one weekend but it got over soon and nothing was left for me to photograph. I don't like my people waiting for me to finish my photography to eat. :) But I will surely post it. I have tweaked the recipe to suit our palette. Everyone enjoyed it at home. The only change I would like to make next time I make it, is to remove the fish bones fully and make smaller pieces so that we don't have to worry about biting into them while eating. 

Recipe for masala adapted from here

For marination and frying:
King Fish  / Ayakkora - 1 kg sliced
Kashmiri Chilly Powder / Piriyan Mulaku Podi - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder/ Manjal Podi - 1/2 tsp
Biryani Masala - 1 tsp* See notes 1
Salt - 1 tsp
Lemon Juice - of 1 large lime
Oil - 1/4 cup for shallow frying

For the ghee rice:
Short grain rice / Jeera Rice / Neychottari - 4 cups
Ghee - 1/4 cup
Water - 8 1/4 cup
Cloves/ Grambu - 3
Cinnamon/ Patta - 1" three pieces
Cardamom/ Elakka - 2
Mace/ Jatipathri - 2
Fennel Seeds/ Perumjeerakam  - 1 tbsp
Star Anise/ Thakkolam- 1
Nutmeg /Jathikka - 1/4 piece

For Masala:
Onion - 3
Tomato - 2
Coriander Powder - 2 tsp
Biryani Masala - 1 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Yoghurt - 1/2 cup
Fish Fried Oil - 1 tbsp
Bay Leaves - 2
Oil - 3 tbsp
Salt - as required

To be ground to a fine paste:
Mix 1:
Onions - 3
Ginger - 2 (2'' pieces)
Garlic - 10 cloves
Green Chilly - 5
Coriander Leaves - 1/2 cup (tightly packed)
Mint Leaves - 1/4 cup (tightly packed)

Mix 2:
Cashew - 4
Fennel Seeds - 2 tsp
Khus- Khus - 1 1/4 tbsp
Water - 1/4 cup

Onion - 1 cup thinly sliced
Cashew - 1/2 cup
Kismis - 1/2 cup
Coriander Leaves - 1/2cup tightly packed
Pudina Leaves - 1/2 cup tightly packed
Garam Masala - 1 tsp

Ghee -  1 tbsp to coat the biryani vessel
Oil - for deep frying onions
Rose water - 20 ml


Step 1: Marination

Cut the fish into medium size slices. Wash and drain out all water.
Marinate the fish for 1/2 hour. * See notes 2

Step 2: Preparation of Ghee Rice:
Wash and strain the rice.
Measure 8 1/4 cup water in a pan and boil it along with the spices - Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Mace, Cumin Seeds, Star Anise and Nutmeg. Add  salt.
In the meantime, in a  non stick pan heat the ghee.
Fry the cashews on low flame till they turn golden brown. Switch off the flame. Add in the kismis. Stir and fry till they bloat up. Transfer them to a plate lined with kitchen roll.
Switch on the flame. In the same ghee fry the rice for 5 minutes. Keep stirring.
Strain and pour in the boiling water into the rice. Stir once slowly. * See notes 3
Check salt and close tightly. Lower flame to medium low. The rice will be done in 10-15 minutes. You will see craters formed on top. 
Switch off the flame. Fluff up the rice after 2-3 minutes.

Step 3: Frying the fish
Heat oil in a flat large pan. 
Fry the fish on medium high flame till it is slightly golden browned. It should get fried fully.
Fry on both sides. Transfer it to a plate lined with kitchen roll.* See notes 4

Step 4: Preparing the masala:
Transfer the khus-khus into a small sieve. Hold it under running water to wash it. Soak it.* See notes 5
Chop the onions into thin slices. Ginger and garlic  into small pieces
Heat oil along with the fish fried oil in a medium size pressure cooker. Tip in the onions. Fry them till they turn translucent. 
Make a fine paste of mix 1 ingredients.
Add it to the onions in the cooker. Saute till the raw smell is gone.
Make small pieces of 2 slices of the fried fish. Add it to the onion mixture.
Meanwhile grind the mix 2 - cashew, fennel seeds and khus -khus into a fine paste by adding very little water. After it is ground to a fine paste add the remaining water pulse again. Add it to the masala in the cooker. 
Add the bay leaves.
Pour in the yogurt. Check salt. Let cook on slow flame for 5 minutes.
When the masala is thick, add the fried fish slowly coating each fish with the masala.
Cook on low flame for 5 minutes. Switch off.

Step 5:Preparing the garnish and Layering
Heat oil in a small kadai /wok.
When the oil is hot fry the onions.* See notes 6
Transfer it to a colander. 
Chop the mint leaves and coriander leaves fine.
Use the same pan used to make rice. Grease the base with little ghee.
Switch on the flame to low.
Put a layer of the fish masala at the bottom.
Now a layer of ghee rice. 
Sprinkle garam masala, cashew, raisins, coriander leaves, mint leaves and fried onions.
Continue to layer in the same way sprinkling rose water in each layer over the ghee rice.
Once done close the pan with tight fitting lid and place a heavy object or an inverted mortar on it.
Let it cook for 15 minutes on very low flame. Remove lid and check if you can see steam coming up from the top layer. Switch off the flame.
Start serving from one side of the pan.
Serve it with mint chutney, raitha, pickle and pappad.

1. I used Nirapara Biryani Masala. You can use any brand available in Indian Stores.
2. If you are marinating the fish longer keep it in the refrigerator.
3. I like to cook the water for the ghee rice with the spices and then remove them before adding to the rice. I prefer not to bite into these spices while having the biryani. You can avoid the straining if you prefer to see the spices in the biryani.
4. Make sure you do not over fry the fish as it will not absorb the masala later.
5. You have to wash the khus- khus thoroughly as there will be impurities in it.
6. For frying onions make sure you slice it very thin. I slice it in my Philips Food Processor (HL 1659) which makes it so easy to slice it real thin and evenly, all in seconds. Stir once you see the tips of the onions start to turn golden. You have to be on the watch as it will get burnt easily. Once it turns golden remove and transfer to a colander.
7. This is a little spicy biryani. Please adjust the spice level as per tolerance level.

07 February 2013

Koonthal Masala / Squid Masala

The year 2013 has already turned out to to be lucky for us, as Asokam, our beach resort has been selected Traveller's Choice by Trip Advisor for the second consecutive year.Yay!! Thanks to all our dear guests.

We had a small function with our resort guests. I had to make a special preparation and yes that's the recipe for today - Squid Masala.

Koonthal / Squid - 2 kg  100 g cleaned and cut

Savala/ Onions - 7 , chopped into small pieces
Inchi/Ginger - 40g chopped fine
Pacha Mulaku/Green Chilly - 5 slit into 2
Velichenna/Coconut Oil - 1/4 cup
Kurumulaku Podi/ Pepper Powder - 2 tsp
Kariveppila/Curry Leaves - 4 sprigs
Kaduku/Mustard - 2 tsp
Piriyan Mulaku Podi/ Kashmiri Chilli powder - 1 1/2 tbsp
Manjal Podi /Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Water - 2 cups
Salt - as required

Chop the squid into very small pieces.
Heat oil in a wok or kadai. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter.
Remove the curry leaves from 2 sprigs and add to the oil.
Now squeeze out the water from the squid and put it into the kadai.
Saute for 5 minutes. Tip in the pepper powder.
Add the ginger and chilly.
When the mixture starts to boil add the onions and salt.
Close with a fitting lid and let cook on high flame for 5 minutes.
Now add the chilly powder and turmeric. Let cook on high to medium flame until the water in it has almost dried up. Add the remaining curry leaves.
Add 2 cups water. Check salt and let cook till squid is soft and the curry thick.

It is very important that you cut the squid into very small pieces for this preparation.
This is a medium spicy masala. You can adjust the spice level as per tolerance. Increase the pepper and chilly powder.
There is no need to add water in the beginning as there is enough water in the squid. But if you are cooking small quantities then you will have to add water soon.

13 January 2013

Kaaya Halwa / Kerala Banana Halwa - Celebrating 2 years of Blogging

Greetings to all my dear readers!! I am a few days late but I am glad to celebrate my blogs anniversary and New Year with you all. This small space of mine has reached new heights and all this would not have been possible without your support. :) It gives me a real high when someone tells me they read my blog. And what I treasure the most is the people I have met and the new friends I made. I wish to thank each one of you and hope I can live up to your expectations regarding the recipes I post. Really sorry for the delay in between posts. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will come back soon and often.

So here is my recipe for the celebrations along with a sneak peak into what made my blog popular in the year 2012. 

The recipe for today is quite an easy one. A very country style Kerala dessert. A quick one which can be made to please guests at home.

Recipe source - Vanitha

Nendran Banana - 1 kg
Milk - 1/2 litre
Sugar - 500g
Ghee - 100g
Cardamom powdered - 4 crushed to a powder
Cashew - a few for garnishing
Kismis - a few for garnishing

Steam the bananas without peeling the skin in an idly vessel / microwave oven.* see notes
Peel the cooked bananas and grind it to a fine paste along with milk and sugar.
Heat ghee on medium flame in a non stick wok till it melts. Fry the cashews and kismis. Using a slotted spoon remove it and transfer it to a plate lined with kitchen roll.
In the same pan with ghee add the ground mixture and keep stirring.
It has to be stirred till it thickens. The right consistency can be checked by taking a small portion and rolling it in between your thumb and forefinger. It should not stick to your fingers. You should be able to roll it into a ball.
Tip in the cardamom powder. Mix well.
Transfer it to a greased bowl. Garnish with nuts and kismis.

Cooking tips:
1. Use ripe nendran variety bananas only. It should have brownish black spots on it and soft on touch.
2. If you are cooking the banana in a microwave oven, cut off the top and bottom ends and make 3 pieces of each banana. Place it on a microwave safe plate and cook for 2 -3 minutes depending on the ripeness of the banana. You can check in between. If it has become really soft then it is done.
3. If you are steaming it in an idly pot or any wide vessel add about 2 glasses of water. Place the base or a grill with a stand. Once the water starts boiling place the whole bananas on it and close the lid. Steam for 5-10 minutes on high flame till it is soft and well cooked. The cooking time depends on how ripe the bananas are. Remove from steamer and peel off the skin to use.

So here is a sneak peak into the Top 10 Posts in the year 2012. Enjoy!!

And to top the list the post with maximum page views - 6500 page views is
Easy Kalathappam in a Pressure Cooker

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!! Welcoming this new year with smiles on our faces and hopes in our heart. Wishing lots of good food and cheer this year.. :)

27 May 2012

Appam with Mutta Roast / Lacy Pancakes with Egg Roast

Appam or Vellayappam or Palappam as it is called is a famous breakfast item of Kerala. This is usually had with Chicken Ishtu (stu) or Nadan Chicken Varutharacha Curry or with egg roast. It is a must try combination. The lacy appam and the masala egg roast is something everyone who comes to visit Kerala are on the look out for. 


Serves 6

Short grain rice - 4 cups * see note 1
Coconut - 1 medium size
Cooked Boiled Rice - 1 1/2 cup
Dry active Yeast- 2 tsp
Sugar - 4 tsp* see note 2
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Water - 3 cups + more to make thin batter* see note 3
Gingelly oil - to smear on the appa chatti (cast iron kadai)* see note 4

Cast iron appam chatti/wok


  • Soak rice for 1 hour and strain.
  • Grate the coconut. In a grinder, grind the coconut and cooked rice together for 15 minutes.
  • Add the rice to the ground mixture. Grind till very fine.
  • When the batter is almost done add the yeast and sugar. Grind for another minute.
  • Let it ferment for 4 hours or till the batter has risen and turns frothy.* see note 5
  • Heat the cast iron appam chatti or wok on high flame. Smear it with little oil.
  • Lower the flame. Pour a laddle (almost 1/2 cup) of batter into the wok. Tilt the wok all around so that the batter coats in a round shape and the rest of the batter settles in the center.
  • Cook on high flame for 5 seconds and then lower the flame. Cover and cook till the rim turns golden and starts leaving the sided. Gently lift the appam and place it on a plate.


Eggs - 5 hard boiled and shelled

Onion - 3 1/2 cup thinly sliced, tightly packed
Garlic- 6 cloves thinly sliced
Ginger - 1 " piece finely chopped
Tomatoes - 2 medium size
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Coconut Oil - 3 tbsp

Coriander Powder - 1 1/2 tbsp
Chilly Powder - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1/4 tsp
Salt - as required

  • Heat oil in a cast iron skillet. Add onions and saute till slightly browned. * see note 7,8
  • Tip in the garlic and ginger. Continue to saute in medium flame.
  • Thinly slice the tomatoes and add them along with curry leaves to the onion mixture. Saute till the tomatoes are half cooked.
  • In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients along with some water to make a paste. 
  • Add the masala paste to the onion mixture. Saute for 1 minute. Reduce flame to low.
  • Meanwhile cut the eggs into half. Separate the egg whites from the yolk. * see note 9
  • Add the egg whites to the masala and coat the eggs with the masala.
  • Continue to cook for another 1 minute on low.
  • Serve it with appams or rotis.

Cooking tips:

  1. You can use raw rice. I used short grain rice(ghee rice/neychottari).
  2. Before making appam you can add more sugar if you like the appams to be a bit sweet.
  3. The batter has to be in a runny consistency.
  4. Any oil can be used but gingelly oil is the best for cast iron woks. If you are using a non stick appam maker then there is no need to smear oil.
  5. The time taken for the batter to rise and turn frothy will depend on the climate. In warm weather it will ferment faster. Keep the batter in a warm place.
  6. Cast iron appam chatti or wok is the best to get the right texture of the appam. It has a round deep bottom which helps in getting the nice lace. 
  7. Saute the onions on high flame. Keep stirring.
  8. You can reduce the oil used to 2 tbsp if you are using a non stick pan.
  9. Usually the eggs are halved and served but in my house we avoid the egg yolk for health reasons.
  10. Keep stirring so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom.

Sending this post to the Kerala Kitchen Event hosted by The Cooking Doctor

25 January 2012

Ari Unda / Kerala Rice Ladoos

Ari Unda/ Rice Ladoos are one of the traditional sweets of Kerala. It is prepared during festivals and even when there are sudden guests at home. In the earlier days it used to be prepared in the 'Ural' the traditional stone mortar. The pounding stick is called as 'Ulakka'.I still remember my mom pounding the rice and jaggery in the stone mortar. And she used to do it with so much ease. The way she used to do as if in a musical motion. I remember giving it a try and my it was heavy indeed. As I don't have a stone mortar, I made it in a grinder. Do give it a try.

So here is my mom's recipe to make soft and yummy Ari Undas.

Rice ( Matta rice/ Red Kuttari/Par Boiled Rice) - 1/2 kg
Jaggery - 700 gm
Scraped Coconut - 2 1/2 cup (tightly packed)
Cardamom - 8 pods

Pick stones if any in rice and wash.
Strain the water well.
Divide the rice into 3 portions.
In an aluminium (thick bottom) kadai roast the rice, one portion at a time. Keep stirring on medium flame.Roast it till the rice breaks. Bite the rice to see if it cracks easily. The rice pops up.
Transfer to a wide plate or lid to cool a bit. Roast the other portions in a similar way.
When the rice is cooled a bit and still warm add the cardamom and powder it real fine.
Pass the rice powder through a strainer and keep aside.
Transfer the scraped coconut into a grinder and grind it for 3 minutes before adding jaggery.
Pound the jaggery into very small pieces*.
Add this slowly into the grinder.
Grind the mixture into very fine paste.
Now add the rice powder slowly into the grinder.
Grind till everything is well mixed.
Roll it into balls and serve.

Use a mixture of dark and light coloured jaggery.
The secret to soft ari undas is the right level of roasting the rice. It has to be very well roasted. The rice breaks and pops up. It cracks easily in your mouth. And the rice powder has to be strained to remove any husk.
*Make sure the jaggery is pounded into small pieces else it will be difficult to grind in a grinder. Add slowly.
In the same way add rice powder slowly. Do not be tempted to add all of it at one go as the grinder stone will get stuck and become messy for you to handle.
The mixture will be very soft. Not to worry the ladoos harden the next day.
Consume it in 2 days if kept at room temperature. Else refrigerate it and consume in a weeks time.